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"Authentic" bolognese?

post #1 of 64
Thread Starter 

Ok so I used the dreaded word, authentic.  I do hate the word authentic and never paid much mind to it.  I make a killer meat ragu with beef and will continue to do so because it's my family's favorite.  When I gave birth to my son more than just a couple of people said "lucky kid, he's gonna grow up eating your spaghetti w/ meat sauce!" 

 

But I was thinking of trying another recipe, especially after I watched the Bolognese episode of "Around the world in 80 days" and heard that nice Italian chef advise the contestants that bolognese is made strictly with pork.  Really?  I can't find a recipe anywhere that uses just pork.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #2 of 64

Authentic to me means at the end  finished off with heavy cream. Like more  towards the French border of Italy at least thats the way I had it prepared there  in a few places, as well as in America but in finer upscale places

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #3 of 64
Miss KK, I'd love to watch that program
What network was that on?

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post #4 of 64

The most important takeaway and thing to remember from that show about "authentic Bolognesa" in Bologna is that everyone makes theirs differently -- no two alike.  The chef who said "all pork" used ground pork and -- printed recipe or no printed recipe -- there's no reason you couldn't make one without beef.

 

I finish mine with a little cream too; but it ain't no thing.  Linda makes hers with chicken, beef, a smoked pork chop, no dairy and it's delicious.

 

First rule of Italian cooking:  Don't overthink.

 

BDL

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post #5 of 64
Okey-dokey
I do know how to use a computer .... Dooh!
I did a google search and found it
I totally forgot to put that into my DVR to start recording it when they first started the promos for that show...
Love Curtis wink.gifwink.gif
And Cat Cora loves great

from ...

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A Hui Hou (until we met), ALOHA!

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from ...

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post #6 of 64
To me, one of the things that differentiates Bolognese from other ragus is the use of dairy.
post #7 of 64

2nd rule "Get it right"  Never had it there where heavy cream was not added at end . In fact in one place they brought out a small pitcher with warm very heavy cream with it

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #8 of 64

You got that right. All the rest are Ragu's of soughts

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #9 of 64

Bolognese is also a "ragu of sorts," specifically, ragu alla bolognese

 

To my mind what makes it characteristically Bolognese is the concentration of meat flavor, the use of carrot, the relative roles of stock, wine and tomato (tomato should be restrained), and the absence of most herbs and garlic (or at most their very limited presence). 

 

However, opinions vary and there are lots of options.   As it happens I use a little milk during the cooking and sometimes finish with cream.  That's one "traditional" of making it but not the only one.  For instance, I usually include at least one smoked pork "product" (could be bacon, pork chop, neck and/or hock) -- "traditional" but not necessary.

 

It's a mistake to insist on too much ideological purity with ragu alla bolognese; neither the real history, not the variety of presentations in Bologna, nor the Accademia Italiana della Cucina will allow for it.   And, whether or not you never had it without a heavy cream finish, the Accademia's own recipe uses milk as one of the sauce ingredients) but doesn't include cream at all.

 

BDL


Edited by boar_d_laze - 6/15/12 at 8:52am
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post #10 of 64

I use pancetta to get started, and quite a lot of milk, but no cream. Very little tomato paste. I also like to use red wine, although I believe having heard a couple of time that the "authentic recipe" was with white wine. I don't use stock, although I'm sure it's also delicious with it. 

 

But the main meat in my ragu bolognese is either skirt steak or flank steak, hand chopped (a bit time consuming but it makes all the difference IMO). 

 

BTW not claiming that any of these ideas are any more authentic than any others. wink.gif

 

I like to use that ragu on spaghettis (which is apparently not authentic at all), and for lasagna (with bechamel). 

post #11 of 64

i don't know from 'authentic'...i just know how i do it...i just made a 5 gallon batch a few days ago so i won't go into amounts but i can tell you some of what i did. i sauteed carrots( they add sweetness), celery, onion, pancetta, and garlic,after cooked down a bit added  ground beef, ground pork, and ground spicy italian sausage...last was the ground veal, then milk, and chix stock...fireroasted tomatoes were blended first, thyme was the primary herb along with parsley...s&p of sourse.....let the whole thing simmer for about 2 1/2 hours, skimmed off the fat added just a bit of cream. i'm sure why but i added ground cinnamon.....just seems like it needed it....also just a bit of red pepper flakes and some dried roasted garlic flakes before the long simmer......didn't add wine which is really unusual for me...i didn't have any cooking white and didn't want to add red...maybe on the reheat.....will reheat to order, adjust s&p if need be and maybe add a touch of milk as well...will have to see...anyway, that's my version. i will also blend up more fireroasted tomatoes to add if i need to....

joey


Edited by durangojo - 6/15/12 at 10:44am

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #12 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by durangojo View Post

i don't know from 'authentic'...i just know how i do it...i just made a 5 gallon batch a few days ago so i won't go into amounts but i can tell you some of what i did. i sauteed carrots( they add sweetness), celery, onion, pancetta, and garlic,after cooked down a bit added  ground beef, ground pork, and ground spicy italian sausage...last was the ground veal, then milk, and chix stock...fireroasted tomatoes were blended first, thyme was the primary herb along with parsley...s&p of sourse.....let the whole thing simmer for about 2 1/2 hours, skimmed off the fat added just a bit of cream. i'm sure why but i added ground cinnamon.....just seems like it needed it....also just a bit of red pepper flakes and some dried roasted garlic flakes before the long simmer......didn't add wine which is really unusual for me...i didn't have any cooking white and didn't want to add red...maybe on the reheat.....will reheat to order, adjust s&p if need be and maybe add a touch of milk as well...will have to see...anyway, that's my version. i will also blend up more fireroasted tomatoes to add if i need to....

joey

 

Spectacular. I buy this Bolognesa. Specially for the 2 1/2 hours.

Take care with the cinnamon. Should be subtle as a magician trick.

And reheat, reheat!

post #13 of 64

yes ordo, i am very careful with the cinnamon...just enough to bring it all together and say hmmmm....my heritage is sicilian so when i use tomatoes in something, it's almost automatic that i add cinnamon.....i didn't say this in my post, but i did a reheat the next day to adjust the seasonings and skim off more fat......should be good to go, but i do like to cover my bases with having the extra tomatoes and the possible milk addition.....salud!

joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #14 of 64

 

 

When it comes to bolognese, it's very easy to point to "authentic" recipe. Obviously, this is the one officially approved and being guarded by Chamber of Commerce of Bologna (Camera di Commercio di Bologna). :)

 

Well, at least that's what people from Bologna say.

 

But I have to say, when I was in Bologna, I didn't see no one chef cooking with full accordance to this "officially authentic" recipe. :)

 

 

ps. btw, there is a good way to make Italian laughing. Just say "spaghetti bolognese". :)

 

pps. Yeah, right. This is a link to "officially authentic" bolognese: http://www.tagliatellatour.it/la-tagliatella/ . It's in Italian but can be easily translated with google translator.

post #15 of 64

Nor did I but I always saw milk or cream used.  (even when I ha it in Naples and Sorrento)

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #16 of 64
Thread Starter 

Ok then, I'll just make it up.  Onion, carrot, celery.  Ground pork.  No garlic.  Tomato paste.  White wine, and stock (chicken?).  Simmer for 4 hrs.  Finish with milk.  No herbs.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #17 of 64

FWIW I don't "finish" with milk, I use it very early in the cooking process, it helps break down the meat. As the sauce dries out during cooking I add a bit more milk, and a bit more, and a bit more... 

 

2.5 Hr sounds about right. 

post #18 of 64

I think I posted the recipe for the recipe of the Confraternity of the Tortellino (yes, i'm serious) registered with the camera di commercio for  Ragu' Bolognese - look that up (use google, put - siduri "ragu bolognese" - into the google search function.  Don't use the cheftalk search function or you'll get a thousand recipes for each term 

 

I wouldn't be surprised if they try to get it protected by UNESCO as part of the cultural heritage of humanity!  You don't have to make it that way but that's the recipe that was registered and it's actually quite good, and if you're looking for "authenticity" that would probably qualify.  And it does sound like they use that cut of meat, Frenchfries, the cartella, and very little tomato paste.  .

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #19 of 64
Thread Starter 

It's been a while but I finally made the authentic bolognese.  I used ground pork shoulder, onion, carrot, garlic, white wine, tomato paste and a cup of milk to start off with.  I broke down and added a cup of tomato sauce because I was not liking the pale brown color of the sauce but it didn't help much.  I finished with a cup of half and half at the end and served it with shells.  It wasn't bad, hubby liked it.  But it wasn't exciting and I'm not likely to make it again.  I'm usually a big fan of pork but I simply could not get it to brown for some reason, it kept releasing liquid.  I finally gave up and went on with making the sauce which I'm willing to bet had a little to do with the end result lacking depth.  Overall the sauce was a little bland and I kept adding cheese to my dish to make up for it. 

 

Maybe I'm just stuck in my ways but I simply love my own meat sauce made with ground beef chuck, plenty of garlic and onions, tomato sauce and paste, chili flakes and cloves and sometimes even a green bell pepper chopped too finely for hubby to know it's there hehe. 

 

What to do with a big bowl of left over bolognese?  Any ideas?

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #20 of 64

use it as a base for lasagna or stuffed shells. Or a gnocchi baked casserole.

 

I'd think you could use some of it thinned out with some stock and lots of vegetables as part of a soup.

 

I'd enjoy some on some crusty bread as a dressing for a sandwich.

 

Take some of the leftover pasta and sauce and make a frittata.

post #21 of 64

BRILLIANT!!!  

Quote:

First rule of Italian cooking:  Don't overthink.

 

BDL

 

I've always had difficulties with the word "authentic", but that's just me. 

 

 

How To Make Bolognaise

 

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

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"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

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post #22 of 64

Here is another "authentic"

 

http://culinariaitalia.wordpress.com/2008/06/29/ragu-alla-bolognese-authentic-recipe/

 

no cream, but does use milk... go figure

----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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post #23 of 64

kk, 

bland.?.. oh my, no

subtle?.... oh my, yes

green bell pepper...oh my oy

 

just curious, have you ever ordered or eaten this dish out in a good italian joint?.....perhaps that is where you needed to start, as it is difficult to express through a recipe the nuances of a really good bolognese unless you know what you are going for...what you are trying to achieve....it is a dish worth waiting for and doesn't really come together until  almost the end

i also think the type of pasta you choose is important

 

 

joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #24 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post

It's been a while but I finally made the authentic bolognese.  I used ground pork shoulder

 

Ok so by now we've all figured out how little the word "authentic" means, and I am certainly not an expert in Italian cooking, so others will correct me if I'm wrong... but I've never heard of using pork shoulder in bolognese ragu? I use flank or skirt steak that I chop super finely with my knife (certainly the most time-consuming task of making a bolognese ragu) - and when I'm limited in time I'll just buy ground chuck. But to me personally bolognese means beef. 

 

It also means loooong slooooow cooking, where the initial browning is not the most important part. I mean you want to brown the meat before adding the liquids, yes, but it doesn't need to be "seared" like a good steak would. 

 

A good bolognese should end up having a very strong taste... well... strong and subtle at the same time... kinda hard to describe .... but certainly far from "bland". And the texture! The texture of the meat broken down for hours by the milk should be almost velvety on the tongue... to me that's the best part of that sauce. 

 

Kouk', if you have the courage to give it another try one of those days, try using the link given by MichaelGA, it's the recipe I started from. I hope you will try again! smile.gif

post #25 of 64

I was being very tongue in cheek with my last post - sorry if it might confuse anyone.

 

It is a very good recipe and I have used it many times.  (with a few minor changes due to what was available)

 

Part of why it is so good is because it is rich and flavorful but not really heavy.  

 

The other reason why this recipe is so good are the opening two lines.

 

 

Quote:

 

 

 

 

Ragu alla Bolognese – Authentic recipe


Bologna crestIn truth there probably isn’t one authentic recipe for Ragu alla Bolognese, but this one is close enough.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PS - i'm also in the beef not pork camp!

----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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post #26 of 64

I've seen other recipes that use both pork and beef.

post #27 of 64

here we go again!!!!  i totally disagree that bolognese is all about just beef....in my world it's about a lot of different meats intensely and fully complimenting one another...i use ground beef, ground pork, ground sweet italian sausage, ground veal and pancetta......complicated but simple...rich, light and righteous done well.......

 

cin cin

 

joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #28 of 64

"Authentic" bolognese?

OK. So then why not use ...

 

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

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"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

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post #29 of 64
Thread Starter 

I don't know, I got the impression that in bologna they make ragu with pork so I wanted to try making it with pork.  I am the first to say that I hate the word authentic, but sometimes it is nice to explore the origin of a dish and it was established earlier in the thread that I'd use pork.

 

I normally do not order bolognese at italian restaurants though my husband does and I taste his.  Usually it is labeled a fancy type of ragu such as wild boar ragu.  I gravitate towards the creamy sauces myself for a night out.

 

It was definitely worth making.  I did not like the consistancy of the meat, it broke down too much with very little stirring it became mush so no ground pork ever again!  If I do it with pork it will be hand cut into small pieces or braised whole and then shredded.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #30 of 64

After a long pause i rear my (hopefully not ugly) head and re-emerge. 

I think probably the word "Ragu'  bolognese" (rah-GOO bo-lo-NYE-ze) has been used in English just to mean meat sauce.  Meat sauce is made all over italy and is different in every place.  My family,from tuscany, not Emilia-Romagna, never used milk in meat sauce, though my grandfather didn't like pasta but wanted soup as a first course, so their meat sauce recipe may have come from their other immigrant friends.   My friend's mother, from near Naples, used to put large pieces of meat in the meat sauce, but the meat was like a small roast or was in the form of involtini, that is, a flat thin piece of meat with some herbs rolled up and toothpicked and then braised and cooked in the sauce, not ground meat. 

Ragu is also the word used in Naples for a very long, slow-cooking tomato sauce without meat.  (My mother in law, growing up in the ex kingdom of naples, used to make sauce like that, started early in the morning and cooking till lunch.  Hardly anything in it bur a piece of onion or garlic that was then removed, and home-bottled tomatoes and oil. 

 

Is "ragu" italian or is it an italianization of the french "ragout"? 

 

So meat sauce can be made any way you want.  Why call it Bolognese, if it's not how they make it in Bologna?  It's not a question of whether this is "authentic" meat sauce, but if you should call it "Bolognese".  Hard, aged cow cheese isn't necessarily parmigiano, bubbly white wine isn't necessarily champagne, and a meat pie isn't necessarily a cornish pastie.  But i can make hard cheese, bubbly wine or a meat pie however i want.  The name refers to the place, and should reflect how it's made in that place.  Each of these dishes have protected status.  If you want to sell it as a cornish pasty, you can't put mushrooms and spinach and white wine in it and use an olive oil crust.  It may be a wonderful meat pie but it's not a Cornish pasty. 

 

To Koukouvagia and others, I find the bolognese nice once in a rare while, but i prefer meatless tomato sauces myself.  And i do like the red meat sauce, with browned meat and mirepoix in soffritto, till the meat browns, then tomato. 

But bell peppers in a tomato sauce - i would never be able to accept that.  There's always a limit smile.gif!

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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